Although it’s now obvious that the extent of governmental support for green policies depends on which party’s in power, sustainability isn’t disappearing from the business agenda any time soon. For starters, the evidence for climate change hasn’t diminished in the slightest and businesses who’ve committed to green targets aren’t going to abandon their investments now. Plus, for tech companies in particular, ignoring the obvious data wouldn’t say much for their acumen – and, in a crowded marketplace, we’re seeing consumers being increasingly likely to buy from businesses which reflect their values and beliefs. Read on for some tips to stay on the right side of history:
Partnerships with organizations
First of all, it’s smart to acknowledge you’re not an expert in this field. There are plenty of organizations out there who spend all their time and resources monitoring the situation and developing strategies to address it. Your first step should be to listen to what they’re saying.
For an overview of the sector – and the challenges ahead – check out the Sustainability Consortium, who offer tools to help you measure where your own business might currently be failing. Having an outside observer accurately measure how well you’re managing your resources can be an eye-opening experience, but there’s no judgment here – you both have the same goal. And external experts have all the experience necessary to redesign processes to be less wasteful, saving you money as well.
Internet of Things
Tech companies are more aware than most of just how much all kinds of businesses are set to change with the advent of the Internet of Things. The good news is just how transformative these innovations can be for reducing wastage within our own industry.
Keeping an accurate real-time inventory of parts will impact manufacturers in particular, but that’s far from the whole story. All kinds of smart components will contribute – consider the amount of energy saved by systems that learn how and when they’re likely to be used, and conserve resources automatically.
Another way the Internet of Things will offer greater control is within our offices themselves. Again, more data is key – with their energy requirements fine-tuned by constant monitoring.
What’s more, the rise of remote working offers even more radical gains. The tech sector was, naturally, one of the first to recognize that herding colleagues into one central physical space are not always necessary. And the success of countless employees working from outside the office – while remaining permanently connected – means many companies have already downsized their shared spaces.
And this is good news for the environment, too. The reduction in regular commuting alone could come to be seen as a vital force for more sustainable practices.
Keep on with the basics
What can’t get lost in all this talk of new technology and radical systems, though, is that all the good habits we’ve (hopefully) got into must continue.
Switching off machines rather than leaving them on standby, not heating empty rooms, avoiding unnecessary plastic where possible – all these remain as important as ever. Because it’s still a fact that – despite all we know about recycling – 50% of business waste is still in the form of paper. The second wave of sustainability has to build on the first.
Another advance over the first wave of sustainability is in the number of sustainable companies now offering services that match their more traditional competitors in every metric.
For example, whereas powering your business with sustainable energy used to involve considerable investment, the maturing of the sustainable energy market means it’s now merely a matter of signing a contract with one of the leading green energy companies. It’s even possible these days to purchase ‘green’ gas, in the form of carbon offset supplies.